The federal government, the country’s largest employer, is short of young talent.
By 2025, one-third of federal employees will be eligible for retirement. Employees under 30 represent only 8.5 percent of the federal workforce compared to 23.2 percent of the US workforce as a whole. Each federal agency has fewer employees under 30 today than it was 10 years ago, according to the Biden administration.
It is a labor dichotomy that the FIU is able to help resolve. While the presidential administration gives the order to hire young people and more diverse workers, the university is rising to meet the demand.
“We believe the government should be representative of the demographics of the country, and the best talent in the FIU is exactly what the country needs to diversify its thinking as it tackles global challenges,” said Carlos A . Becerra ’98 MPA ’01, associate vice president of federal relations at the FIU and senior advocate for the university in Washington, DC
High-quality cybersecurity professionals, nuclear power specialists, and communicators are among a wide variety of essential personnel trained by Miami Public Research University and geared towards the federal workforce today. ‘hui. Thousands of Panthers already work for the federal government, Becerra says, and that number is set to increase.
The hiring trend is the result of greater investments in federal employment strategies by FIU units, combined with the Panthers’ desire to make a difference for their country.
Former student James-Denton Wyllie, director of the Federal Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Office of Communications, says working for the United States has a major benefit that not all employers can provide .
“I think the number one attraction of working for government is the ability to work on things that matter,” Wyllie said.
“When you talk to other people in the communications field and they talk about selling that candy bar or representing a celebrity, you notice the difference from what you do in the federal government. “
Getting a foot in the door at the federal level allows alumni to pursue their ultimate career goals.
Gabriella Wuyki Ph.D. ’21 recently landed a Quarantine Officer position for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The opportunity came from a chance conversation she overheard at Stempel College with a CDC employee, whom she tracked down and with whom she kept in touch for potential employment opportunities. From there, she finally connected with her job today.
“The CDC is kind of like the gold standard for public health,” says Wuyki of the organization she has long wanted to work for. “This is what you want to aim for.”
Innovative CRF strategies that pay dividends
For FIU students today, there are more avenues than ever to begin meaningful federal careers.
The FIU in Washington, DC, is the program that sets up many of these federal opportunities. Through their Talent Lab initiative which is funded by the Student Government Association, the DC FIU travels to Panthers at their National Capital office for a three-day trip to teach them the ropes of government, organizations at nonprofit and advocacy groups. Guest speakers include government alumni and university professors.
Some students may even spend a full semester with the CRF in DC as a Hamilton Fellow, which includes a paid internship and an Honors College course in Washington.
The Panthers are interns in both houses and parties of Congress. They are placed in key federal agencies like the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the US Department of Commerce. And they continue to work in influential think tanks and nonprofits such as the Heritage Foundation, the CATO Institute, and the Partnership for Public Service.
Through these interactions, students can make their first connections with the federal government.
“My virtual plane was truly one of the most memorable experiences I have had at the FIU,” says Britney Broxton, double major in English and Public Policy.
“It got me thinking, ‘Wow, I want to be in politics. “”
Broxton interned at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) this summer and worked directly in government efforts to recruit young people like her. During their internship, OPM implemented a new rule that makes it easier for federal agencies to hire interns after they graduate from college.
“These employers say, ‘Oh, what do young people see that we don’t see?’ Says Broxton. “Instead of hearing us only through social media platforms, they want to hear from us directly by putting us in federal positions.”
The university’s push in this area also comes at a time when the Biden administration is striving to include historically under-represented groups in government. The FIU in DC is helping by training the university’s already diverse student body and implementing women-focused information thefts in politics and politics and breaking down generational barriers to black leadership.